Canada has an active and vibrant mergers and acquisitions market. The legal processes and procedures reflect this by establishing relatively clear and straightforward rules by which M&A transactions can be completed. At the same time, the law continues to develop and evolve as it relates to directors’ duties and responsibilities, so that hostile acquisitions and responses to shareholder activism can be the subject of creative strategies and structures.
The summary is intended to provide a high-level outline of the principal legal considerations pertaining to public company M&A in Canada. The question and answer format is designed to provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions by potential buyers who are contemplating an M&A transaction. The summary is based on the law as it stands as of March 2021. Also, as this publication goes to press, the market has had a year to learn how to do deals during the COVID-19 pandemic and, for the most part, has had success in doing so. Nevertheless, the limitations the pandemic has imposed on, for example, due diligence, have certainly affected the deal process and made some deals difficult to complete.